Governors

To see the work that the governors do, please click here

CHAIR: Sally Dyson

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Parent Governor in March 2012 and in March 2016, became an Ordinary Governor.  I trained as a teacher of Human Movement Studies (PE) and History at Bedford College and taught at a school in Streatham, South London for 10 years, including as Head of Department for five years.  My husband and I moved to Kent after our daughter was born and she joined the School in 2011. In September 2018, with my daughter at University, I returned to work, and have job in the compliance department at Girlguiding UK.

I wanted to become a governor because I believe every child should have the opportunity to benefit from a good education.  In order to do that schools need people who are willing to support and challenge them, to provide an environment where children are inspired, are set aspirational targets and are given as many opportunities as possible.

In addition to my role as Chair of the Governing Body, I serve on the Strategy and Steering, Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Development Steering Group. I was Vice Chair of the Play Your Part Fundraising Campaign.

Terms of Office Ends: March 2020

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LAURA ACOSTA

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Staff Governor in October 2014. I read French and Spanish at University and then joined Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. I worked as Graduate Recruitment Manager for eight years before moving to become Head of Human Resources for the IT sector of the PA Consulting Group.

After a break from work to be a full-time mother I re-trained as a teacher of French and Spanish and joined TGS in September 2012. During the time raising my four children I also worked as a Piano and Singing teacher and was a Parent Governor at my children’s primary school and the secretary to the PTA.

I volunteered to become a Governor because I believe passionately in getting involved and helping to shape the future direction of TGS. I serve on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee. I am a qualified Mindfulness teacher through MiSP for children aged 11-18 and for adults in a school setting. I feel privileged to be working with TGS to continue to introduce Mindfulness to more students and adults.


PIPPA BLACKSTONE

In 2007 I was a volunteer board member and later the campaign manager of the capital fundraising Gift for Learning campaign for the Hands Building and major refurbishments to the old “school on the hilltop”.  I learnt about TGS and the exceptional educational experience it offers and I took great pleasure in bringing people together to achieve a major improvement to the School’s facilities.
 
After a professional career in business management including years with BDO LLP and part time roles elsewhere whilst my children were in primary education, and after 8 years to date on the staff of TGS, I can honestly say that working in Schools Development and Alumni is the most rewarding and challenging experience of my career to date.  It is more a lifestyle than a job! 
 
I am privileged in my engagement with a wide variety of networks and relationships that come together to enable TGS to deliver an educational experience that is broad and ‘holistic’, in an environment that is modern and relevant to the world our students will encounter beyond the school gates. 
 
I joined the governing body in September 2017 and sit on the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I hope to bring my skills to the table to shape the ongoing strategic direction of Tonbridge Grammar School.
 
I live near Lamberhurst in Kent. I have three children who were educated in maintained schools in Tonbridge. Now that they are forging their adult lives at university and beyond, my husband and I spend less time driving them to and fro and more time with our dogs, sailing, and in my case running.

Terms of Office Ends: December 2021

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Mark Davis

I have lived in Hildenborough and Tonbridge all my life, currently in north Tonbridge where my wife and I have brought up two children who are now in their late teens.  After school at Judd, I qualified as a Solicitor, training at Warners in Tonbridge. Following a short spell in London, I returned to Warners and became a partner in 1989 and now head the commercial property team in Warners’ Sevenoaks office.

I am a Councillor on Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, representing the Cage Green ward. When time allows I enjoy long-distance walking, genealogy, watching cricket and I have a keen interest in history.

My family has a long association with TGS; my mother, sister and daughter all having attended and my father having been a Governor for 30 years.  I was appointed as a Community Governor in 2003 and since Academisation I have served as an Ordinary Governor. During this time I have been a member of a number of committees and played an active role in development projects.  I am Vice Chair of the Governing Body and I sit on the Strategy and Steering Committee and the Curriculum and Staffing Committee. I am the Governor with responsibility for monitoring school trips.

Terms of Office Ends: August 2020

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Ruth Davis

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Staff Governor in January 2018.  I studied Sociology and Social Psychology at LSE before a stint in Group Market Risk at RBS.  However, the pull of teaching was too great and I embarked on a PGCE in Secondary Religious Studies and Citizenship.  I began teaching in 2003 and joined TGS in 2014, having previously worked in other IB schools and as an examiner for the IBO. I teach Philosophy and Religious Studies, and have responsibility for the Theory of Knowledge course in the Sixth Form as part of my Curriculum Director responsibilities.  As a governor I sit on the Curriculum & Staffing committee.

I am a ‘local girl’ and went to school in Tunbridge Wells, followed by The Judd School in Tonbridge: as a result I am passionate about Grammar School education in Kent.  I believe in the importance of enjoyment in education, and providing students with a well-rounded and full educational experience. 

With two primary aged football-mad children and two Labradors, I do not have a lot of ‘spare’ time – but I do like to read, walk and spend as much time as possible by the coast.

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Dr. Annette Doherty, OBE

I have spent my career working as a scientist in the Research and Development of new medicines within the pharmaceutical industry. I am currently the Global Head of Product Development and Clinical Supply at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). I originally trained at Imperial College of Science and Technology and have worked in research groups in the USA, France and the UK.

I enjoy public service and have served on the boards of private, public, charity and educational institutions.  I was a member of the Pfizer UK Board (2003-2009), the Medical Research Council (2010-2014) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2011-2015). I am currently a board member of the Medical Research Council Technology Charity (MRCT) and of Queen Mary, University of London Council.

I am very interested in being actively involved in shaping the School’s strategic direction and in continuing to provide the best learning environment for all students now and in the future. My two daughters are at Tonbridge Grammar School and my son is at Tonbridge School.  I became a Parent Governor in September 2016. I am Vice Chair of the Curriculum and Staffing Committee.

Terms of Office Ends: September 2020


Suzy Hughes

I spent my early years growing up in Europe before obtaining a Law degree from Durham University and then living and working in France where I gained a post-graduate qualification in Business French. With Andersen Business Consulting I was responsible for delivering corporate transformation projects across a variety of industries and was instrumental in establishing the company’s global Change Management practice.

Since taking a break from corporate life for children, I set up my own business providing professional services to corporations and private clients. 

I was a long-standing member of the PTA at my children’s primary school and a voluntary class room assistant and teacher of chess, literature and music.  I am an active member of the TGS PTA.

I am passionate about the provision of opportunities for education and development of our future generations and am a strong believer in the values of TGS, where both of our daughters attended by both of our daughters.  I was delighted to be elected a Parent Governor in 2018 and I sit on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee.

Terms of Office Ends: September 2022

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JULIE HUMPHRYeS

I am an architect and designer of hotels, restaurants, residences and resorts in the UK and internationally.  For the past two decades I have run Archer Humphryes Architects.  Previously, I worked at Virgin Atlantic designing luxury travel projects and Philippe Starck’s design company, YOO.

I grew up in Kent where I attended grammar school before going to Cambridge University.  I then lived in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London before returning to Kent. 

I enjoy participating in public service and volunteering and have spoken at events to support the World Monument Fund.  I have been an external critic at the Royal College of Art and contribute to publications related to my work. 

As a parent governor I would like to help shape education and creativity in learning.  I am interested in the opportunities for the study of non- core subjects, as I believe students have wider talents that can be harnessed for their future working lives.I sit on the Finance and General Purposes Committee and I am the governor with responsibility for Health and Safety.

Terms of Office Ends: February 2021

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Rosemary Joyce

I have been Head Teacher of Tonbridge Grammar School since April 2005.  

Having studied Religion and Philosophy along with History at the University of Stirling - where I developed a long standing intellectual interest in Eastern Philosophy - I completed a PGCE and a Masters in Education at the University of London, Institute of Education.  I began my teaching career in 1988 teaching Religious Studies, Philosophy and History at comprehensive and selective schools in Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire before becoming Deputy Head at Nonsuch High School for Girls, Cheam in 2000.

I am very proud of Tonbridge Grammar School and all who are part of our community.  It is a real privilege to serve such a wonderful school full of students inquisitive to learn and staff who are so passionate and committed to support our students to success.  I am particularly proud that alongside our academic reputation the School has strong core values and is committed to providing an enriching educational environment that develops character and supports them to make a strong contribution to the community through leadership and service.

I am Chair of Governors of the Two Bridges School, which offers a nurturing alternative learning environment to students who find it challenging to settle and progress in mainstream schools locally.  This role is important to me because I recognise the transformational role of education for all young people and the responsibility of all educational leaders to ensure the best educational provision possible for all students within our community.

Work keeps me pretty busy but aside from that I like to spend time with my children and pursuing my interests in modern art and gardening.

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Andrew Leale

I moved to Tonbridge to teach at Tonbridge School in 1993 and have continued to live and work in the area ever since. I currently teach Economics at Tonbridge School where I am also the Director of Admissions and Marketing and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. I have previously been head of an academic department and a pastoral leader, and I continue to coach sport. I strongly believe in the responsibility of a school to not only ensure excellent academic leadership for its students, but also to provide a broad based education and, crucially, a supportive and kind environment in which they can grow.

I was elected as a Parent Governor in December 2015 and I am Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I also sit on the Strategy and Steering Committee and the Admissions group.

I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.  My wife is also a teacher – of History – and I have two daughters studying at TGS.

Terms of Office Ends: December 2019

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Mark Lavenstein

I was elected to be a Parent Governor in February 2016.

My wife and I have lived in Tunbridge WeIls for over 20 years and we have had 2 children go through the Kent system. My son was at The Judd School and is now at university. My daughter has spent 7 years at TGS and has benefitted from the excellent education given at the school.

I have a background in the oil industry, initially as a Chemical Engineer in the UK and US and more latterly as a Crude Oil Trader with a focus on West African oil markets. I have led business development and growth strategies in these roles and look forward to providing challenge and support to the school’s management team as they look to develop the strategic direction for TGS.

I am very interested in education at all stages and have a lay person’s appreciation of wider educational matters, partly informed by being married to a secondary school teacher for 23 years. I strongly believe in the transformative value of a good education on young people’s lives and the influence it bears upon the subsequent development of good citizens. I sit on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee and am the governor with responsibility for safeguarding.

Terms of Office Ends: February 2021

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Claire Lindridge

I was elected as a parent governor in 2018 and have two daughters at TGS.  I was treasurer of the PTA of my daughters’ primary school and am looking forward to contributing my professional skills to the work of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. 

I grew up in Cranbrook, attending Cranbrook School and then read Natural Sciences at Clare College, Cambridge.  I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, where I worked for nearly 11 years, latterly specialising in designing and delivering the training curriculum for the firm. I have worked at the Financial Reporting Council since 2006 in a number of different roles. Currently, I am building a team to launch a new supervisory approach to the regulation of the largest audit firms.

Terms of Office Ends: September 2022

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Jose Luis Parody

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and have been involved with TGS since 2001, initially in a professional capacity as Project Manager for the development of the site and culminating in the construction of the Hands Building.

I have been an Ordinary Governor at the School since January 2011 and I am actively involved in the Finance and General Purposes Committee. I also chair the Building Development Steering Group, focused on driving the school’s development plans to fruition.

My interests are varied and include playing tennis and choral singing.

Terms of Office Ends: January 2023


Nigel Stratton, MBE

After schooling in Hampshire, I studied law at the University of Birmingham and trained to be a solicitor in London, before moving to Kent in 1982.  

Having practiced as a private client lawyer for 30 years, the last 12 as managing partner of my firm, I retired in March 2018 and now work on a consultancy basis one day a week.

I have been a Rotarian for over 20 years and twice past president. Involved with Age UK and its predecessor organisations since 1983, I am currently chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Age UK.  I am a governor of the Kent Community Health Foundation Trust.  I was honoured to be awarded an MBE in 2014, for services to the community.

I was appointed to the Governing Body in April 2018.  I have previously been a school governor, mostly of primary schools, including in Sevenoaks and North Kent.  I will relish the challenges of being a secondary school governor, in particular of an academy, with the responsibility entailed.

I am a keen gardener; member of a local walking group; sang for 10 years with a Sevenoaks choir and love classical music. I enjoy reading, especially political biographies and autobiographies, and modern history.

Term of Office ends April 2022

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Jeremy Timms

I have been running my design, web and marketing agency, Torpedo Juice, in Tunbridge Wells since 2005, working with a collaborative team of other creatives.  During this time I have also established two of the largest networking groups in the area, giving small businesses and creative talent an environment in which they feel comfortable networking. Before this, I was Group IT Manager for Auto Data Network, a NASDAQ listed automotive software supplier with 12 sub companies spread over four continents. I began my career as a Barrister’s Clerk in London.

I was part of a charity fundraising team that helped raise over £150,000 for terminal children's Alzheimer's disease. I created the website, the tracking software for runners and social media campaigns and provided help and support during the six-day event from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

As a governor I hope to bring knowledge of local businesses and the people within them, and so an understanding of how to approach fundraising and engagement with the local community. I have a strong sense of community, often offering services pro bono: I hope that this will combine well with my marketing expertise and commercial know-how to create an effective contribution to Tonbridge Grammar School.

Term of Office ends March 2022

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Julia Wheeler

I am a journalist by profession and have spent much of my career working for the BBC.  I was the BBC Gulf Correspondent based in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2010 covering news, business and sport for TV, radio and online.  During this time I also wrote a book, ‘Telling Tales,’ about the history of Dubai.  I am now a freelance writer and journalist and I chair events at Literature and Science Festivals and The British Library.

I grew up in Canterbury where I attended Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar.  I am passionate about the ethos of schools inspiring life-long learning.  I read Economic and Social History at University before gaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

My husband and I have a son at The Judd School in Tonbridge.  I became a Parent Governor in October 2012 when my daughter was attending TGS and am now an Appointed Governor.  I chair the Curriculum and Staffing Committee, serve on the Strategy and Steering Committee and was Chair of the ‘Play Your Part’ Fundraising Campaign which raised money for the IBarn and the Music and Art Departments.  I also sit on the Development Steering Group and the Admissions Group.

Terms of Office Ends: August 2022

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